Euthanasia and Physician-assisted Deaths

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Euthanasia and physician-assisted deaths have become a major topic of debate internationally. Upon analyzing an article that aids in defining how euthanasia and physician-assisted deaths play into palliative care, a better perspective can be developed on the topic. White papers are government reports that give citizens and the reader concise information on a given topic or issue; in this case, the issue is discovering how the different forms of hastened death play into palliative care. The overall purpose of this experimental study was to define the ethical frameworks and issues in relation to patients desire to have an assisted suicide.

For the EAPC, European Association for Palliative Care, to set up these guidelines they designed an experiment based off a paper they published in 2003 regarding the topics of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicides. The took the previous 21 statements established on the information apropos of the time, creating a five-round test to update the validity of each statement. These five-round tests were based off the Delphi procedure, where experts answer questions based on multiple rounds. In the first round, experts in the palliative care and medical field were asked to give feedback. The rounds following this are all conducted using Survey Monkey; It is an online survey service to which the participates agreed or disagreed in a rating of sorts, using the Likert scale, with the previous set 21 statements. To create an updated version of their 2003 outline, they looked at the statements where those whom those who participated in the survey study did not completely agree with said statement. There were 6 out of the 21 statements that the participates didn’t agree with completely, although 68% was the lowest percentage of which all the participated did not agree (EAPC, 2015).

The results of the surveys were rather interesting in that they decided that euthanasia and physician-assisted deaths were not a part of palliative care. They clearly defined the multiple concepts discussed, creating a more clear-cut white paper. Palliative care is defined as the professionals in that field viewing every life as full of worth, hoping to get the patient to see that resulting in improving their view of the situation they are dealing with. It was decided that palliative care experts should take into consideration the requests of euthanasia and physician hastened deaths to determine the thought process behind their wishes. The surveys showed that people believe that if the patients receive “special psychosocial and spiritual counseling” along with the best medical attempts to cure whatever symptoms the patient is having that they will view their life in a better light.

I feel that this article would rate moderately high on the timeliness aspects of the TRAAP test. This article was posted in April of 2015, leaving a good three years of information on the topic to grow. Euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, and other forms of hastened death have steadily become a heavy debate topic internationally. With timeliness how fresh and new the information presented in the article is looked at.

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